Toxic Thursday : Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

WHAT IT IS?  MSG is a chemically altered form of salt designed to be a flavor enhancer. It is commonly added to Chinese food but can be found in canned vegetables, soups, seasoning, frozen foods, cigarettes, dressing, and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient, that's "generally recognized as safe", the use of MSG remains controversial.

HEALTH RISK:  MSG has been labeled an excitoxin because it is thought to have the ability to overstimulate cells to the point of fatal damage. MSG has been linked to headaches, migraines, impaired liver and gallbladder function, digestive issues, weight gain, autism, and more. Scary stuff indeed!

HOW TO AVOID: Carefully read labels! Manufacturers are aware that many consumers would prefer not to have MSG in their food and have responded by using different names in their labels to hide that MSG is included. Names like autolyzed yeast,  citric acid, glutamate, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate, mono-potassium glutamate, and textured protein are MSG containing ingredients. Sneaky huh?